Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Nov. 5, 1850 - Oct. 30, 1919


Keep Out Of The Past

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Keep out of the Past! for its highways
Are damp with malarial gloom;
Its gardens are sere and its forests are drear,
And everywhere moulders a tomb.
Who seeks to regain its lost pleasures
Finds only a rose turned to dust;
And its storehouse of wonderful treasures
Are covered and coated with rust.

Keep out of the Past! It is haunted:
He who in its avenues gropes
Shall find there the ghost of a joy prized the most,
And a skeleton throng of dead hopes.
In place of its beautiful rivers
Are pools that are stagnant with slime;
And these graves gleaming white in a phosphoric light
Hide dreams that were slain in their prime.

Keep out of the Past! It is lonely,
And barren and bleak to the view;
Its fires have grown cold, and its stories are old --
Turn, turn to the Present -- the New:
To-day leads you up to the hilltops
That are kissed by the radiant sun,
To-day shows no tomb, life's hopes are in bloom,
And to-day holds a prize to be won.


Poems of Pleasure
Copyright 1900
Gay And Bird, 22 Bedford Street, Strand, London